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Note #59: Another year (2010.12.31)

A year ago today I stopped to take a quick look back at the previous year before diving into this one. For lack of anything better to write at the moment (well, for lack of anything better to write that won’t take too long), I thought I would do the same thing again this year.

As I started thinking about the past year, though, I grew a little concerned. What exactly happened that would be worth reviewing? Did I achieve anything special? Did I reach any goals? Did I finish any major projects? Academically and professionally speaking, there are four major projects I am involved in at the moment. All of these have been in the works since at least last year, and I was hoping to finish at least two of them this past year. What they are is not really important—all that really matters is that I have not, in fact, finished a single one of these projects.

It’s rather depressing, to tell you the truth, not to mention frustrating. Of course, it’s not as if I have achieved nothing this past year. I wrote some good articles for Koreana and published a paper on literary translation (my first academic publication in English, believe it or not—all of my previous publications have been in Korean). I also finally finished up the coding for the Promethean Candle Boutique website (as chronicled in a recent entry)—a project that has also been in the works for over a year now. Still, in terms of the bigger things that I wanted to get done, I can’t help but feeling that this past year was a bit of a let-down.

I’ve had this creeping feeling for a while, the feeling that I’m stuck in some sort of limbo. I can see a way ahead, but I don’t seem to be moving any closer to it, like I’m on some cosmic treadmill. Or I’m Sisyphus, pushing my boulder up the hill, only to see it roll back down again. I know I am making progress toward my goals, but it’s so hard to see sometimes.

Wow. That sounds pretty bleak. I suppose things are not as bad as all that. I just feel... restless. Anxious. A little uneasy. There’s a reason for this, although I don’t really feel like talking about it. If you know me, you already know what it is, and if not, let’s just say it has something to do with those four projects I mentioned above.

I guess I really am ready to say goodbye to 2010. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I have great hopes for 2011. Just this afternoon, I signed up for three months at a nearby health club. I’ve known for quite some time that I really need to exercise, and I’ve been telling myself I’ll start any day now. But today I finally faced reality: I could barely get myself outside to exercise when the weather was nice, so the chances of me getting out to exercise now, when Jack Frost has Seoul by the balls, are far worse than slim. Now that I’ve paid for the health club, though, come Monday it’s either get my butt to the club and exercise or watch my hard-earned money trickle away.

So I suppose that’s something. Hopefully this determination will be present in other areas of my life as well, and 2011 will see me actually reaching some of these long-term goals that have been dancing before me for so long.

I guess there’s no real need to stretch this one out. There are three hours left in the year, and I think Hyunjin and I will be heading out to Jonggak to watch them ring the bell. It’s going to be very cold and very crowded, but it should be interesting. However you plan on spending the evening, I wish you a Happy New Year and good fortune in 2011.

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